In 2002, the 1996 game Resident Evil was remade for the Nintendo GameCube as part of an exclusivity agreement between Capcom and Nintendo that spanned three new games (which also included Resident Evil Zero and Resident Evil 4, in addition to ports of the previous sequels). This version was simply titled Resident Evil, but it was often known under the informal titles of Resident Evil: Remake or Resident Evil: Rebirth (abbreviated REmake and REbirth respectively) to disambiguate it from the original title. In Japan, the remake's title is spelled in lower-case letters (as biohazard) in its logo along with the other GameCube installments, in contrast to the previous games' logos, which spelled the title in upper-case letters (as BIOHAZARD). This version was also released in the Pure Evil 2-Pack along with Resident Evil Zero. The game is notable for its stunning, exceptional graphics.

The remake features all-new graphics and sound, and also incorporates gameplay elements from the earlier instalments (such as the use of body language and the 180 degree turn). While the overall plot remained mostly unchanged (with the exception of the adding of the George Trevor diaries), several new areas and rooms were added to the game, including a graveyard and a cabin in the woods. The original live-action FMV segments are replaced by CG versions, and the voice acting was completely re-recorded with new actors. Chris and Jill are still the only two selectable characters, though most of the puzzles have been changed and the player's character is now equipped with a defensive weapon that can be used while being grabbed by the enemy. It is also now necessary to decapitate or burn zombies to prevent them from regenerating later in the game as the fast and deadly "Crimson Heads." Shinji Mikami said that the remake is 70% different from the original.

This game features many additional modes, secrets and various endings over the original as well as restoring the George Trevor sub-plot from the pre-release versions of the original game, while retconning his daughter Lisa into the game as a transformed monster (and source of the G-virus). Additional retcons bring Umbrella executive William Birkin and Alexia Ashford into the overall plot, to make links between the games more clear and numerous.

Along with Resident Evil Zero, the game came out for the Nintendo Wii on June 23, 2009 as part of the Resident Evil Archives. As with Resident Evil 4 Wii edition game, the game was outfitted with Wii pointer controls.